California Dreamin’

May was officially wedding season in the Anderson household. On the last two weekends of the month of May Ashley and I attended back to back weddings. One of which was held in sunny Laguna Beach, California. I’ve never been to California, so we decided to use the wedding as an excuse for a short vacation. I hardly knew what to expect when we finally arrived at our hotel in Laguna Beach. I was sort of imaging re-runs of the O.C. where the weather is amazing and everybody gets around on skateboards and talks like they are Spicoli off Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Unfortunately, it was cloudy, a tad chilly and all I saw were Range Rovers. But I did meet Spicoli’s long-lost cousin at the surf shop where Ashley and I rented our surfboards.

After killing ourselves attempting to surf, we went back to the hotel for a little R & R and got ready to go out to eat with some friends who made the trip out west.

Before the wedding we decided to hike up Moro Canyon. We finished our hike with a delicious pastrami cheeseburger from Husky Boy Hamburgers. If you’re ever in Laguna Beach I highly suggest checking out this burger shack as they make a pretty mean burger.

Later in the afternoon we attended my friend’s wedding on the beach which was really cool to be a part of. I really enjoyed the low-key, low stress, beach-y atmosphere.  I’m a big fan of destination weddings. It’s like having a wedding and a honeymoon all rolled into one. If only I could have convinced Ashley to elope.

In the morning Ashley and I begin the hour-long drive to L.A. but first we made a pit stop at Venice Beach to check out the sights and to do some people watching. By the way, Venice Beach is just as crazy as it looks in the movies and it’s exaclty how I pictured California. It’s basically a boardwalk/beach mixed with tourists, homeless people, street performers, drug pushers and hippies. It’s really a sight to see. I throughly enjoyed it because it was like time traveling to the 1960s. After checking out Muscle Beach and walking the boardwalk a few times I was ready to move on to Santa Monica.

You only have to drive roughly fifteen minutes from Venice Beach to Santa Monica. But as soon as you do it feels like you are entering a completely different state. Santa Monica is pretty much the opposite of Venice Beach. It’s full of nice shops, restaurants and attractions. After we found parking we walked to the Santa Monica Pier and snapped a few pictures. It was fun to check out the old-time amusement park and see the views of the ocean. But our feet were getting a little tired so we decided to grab a beer at Big Dean’s.

Afterward, we hit the beach to catch some rays. But as the sun started to go down we decided it was probably best to try and find our hotel while it was still light out. After checking in and taking a short siesta we caught a cab up to the Getty Muesum to check out some photography but mostly to get some scenic views of L.A. The museum was nice and the views were pretty sick but it took a while to get out and there wasn’t much in the way of food. That is, unless you wanted to eat a $43 plate of salmon. I didn’t. I’m glad we went but I’m not sure it should be rated as the #1 thing to do in L.A. on TripAdvisor.

So after our excursion we decided to get some sushi on the famed Sunset Boulevard. After dinner we grabbed a drink at Red Rock and walked past the Viper Room and Whiskey a Go-Go. But it wasn’t long before we decided to call it a night.

In the morning we got up and hiked Runyon Canyon in Beverly Hills and snapped a few pictures of the Hollywood sign. I promise you can see it but you have to look close!

After our hike we changed and headed to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Houston Astros. It was cool to experience the game with a rowdy group of Dodger fans. Nothing is worse than being surrounded by a bunch of corporate stiffs. It ruins the whole game day experience. So sitting in the outfield with the locals was a welcome change of pace. It definitely made the game more interesting.

After the game we played chicken with the oncoming traffic and attempted to leave Dodger Stadium. It can’t be said enough that L.A. traffic is awful. After making it back to our hotel in the late afternoon we were in desperate need of a nap. Overall, I really enjoyed my time in California. It was a fun place to visit. And In the words of Notorious B.I.G. I’m going, going  back, back to Cali, Cali.

 

 
 
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